Pressure ulcers are not uncommon in nursing homes. The CDC reports that up to 28% of nursing home residents develop a pressure ulcer at some point in their care. Sadly, deaths resulting from pressure ulcers are also common. About four percent hospital admissions for pressure ulcers resulted in death directly linked to the pressure ulcer. The death rate triples where the patient has other serious ailments.
Despite the high number of pressure ulcer deaths, nursing homes are not excused from liability. The law in Georgia is clear. Georgia nursing homes are obligated to evaluate each resident for their individual risk of bedsores, put in place preventative measures, and then continually update and review the success of those measures. When the nursing home follows the law, bedsores are almost completely avoidable. In fact, the Center for Medicare Services no longer pays hospitals for treatment of new pressure sores in patients because the injury is so avoidable.
However, simply because a resident develops pressure ulcers and then later passes away does not mean that there is a slam dunk wrongful death claim. To be successful in such a case, you must prove “causation.” In short, you must connect the bedsores directly to the cause of death. This can be very difficult. Often, the nursing home or other defendant will argue, among other reasons, that the residents advanced age, co-morbidities, or other factors were the actual cause of death.
To prove causation, it is often necessary for your attorney to retain an expert witness to link the pressure ulcer to the passing. Often, expert witnesses are medical doctors, and in some instances, can be your loved one’s treating physician. Using their knowledge and experience, together with all of the medical records, nursing home records, photographs, and death certificate, he or she will render an opinion that connects the nursing home’s negligence to your loved one’s death.
If your loved died after developing pressure ulcers at a nursing home and you are wondering if you have a claim, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.